February 14: to a friend

An email I sent to my dear friend Grace, February 14, 2007

I’m good.  I had a wonderful time in Bangalore, but my routine has sort of been thrown totally off.  So I’m working on getting back into that although I head out to Thailand in like two weeks.  I’ve been pretty tired getting back.  It’s so strange, Grace, sometimes I feel so good being here.  Like coming back was just like coming home – to hugs and people just being really glad to see me.  But then other things are hard and frustrating and tiring.  Finding balance is hard, and I guess I still wish that I had someone else with me to share it all with.  I was talking with my mum on the phone and telling her how I miss my friends from school.  A lot.  Smile.  But that’s okay.  I’m realizing more and more how much I will miss when I leave here.  And there’s still lots of time.

It’s getting hotter.  Last night, I lay in bed sweating and I felt hot and bothered when I woke up this morning.  And it’s only February.  I don’t know how I’ll function in May!!!  Grin.  I’m enjoying the guavas and other fruit.  The papayas are getting ripe.  My morning and evening exercise routines have been suffering, and I feel that in my body.  Self care and balance are so hard to find sometimes.

I read a ton, which is great!  Right now I’m reading a book called “The Age of Kali” which is a journalistic book written about India in the 1990s.  It’s pretty interesting.  Next on my list is “The Inheritance of Loss” which is set in Kalimpong (where I did my study abroad) in the 1980s.  I’m really enjoying reading Indian writers.  I think maybe after I read some more Indian literature I may move to some of the classics, which are in the school library.  The kids don’t read those much because the level is really beyond them.

Anyway, this is rambling.   In Bangalore I got to drink good coffee and sit and read and write in some coffee shops (I wish Vellore had some places like that) and I thought of you and the time we got to spend doing that, both at the Motley and then a little bit in San Francisco too.  I’m thinking maybe the Bay Area is somewhere I’d like to spend some time when I get back from India.  But that’s a ways away right now.  I’m not really sure where life is going to take me next, but I know that it will bring me back to you.  Smile.  That’s a good feeling.

Oh.  Last night I went out to dinner with a guy who’s visiting from the U.S. (Santhosh; he’s originally from India), Elcid (the Principal’s son) and Avinash.  It was really nice and pretty excellent to get a chance to talk with Avinash.  Smile.  He’s a good guy and very interesting.  He didn’t really ever have much ambition, and he hasn’t traveled much in India.  I guess a lot of what we’re interested in or our desire to travel and see the world or our ideas about what we can do with our lives come from those around us, especially our families.  The kids here aren’t really exposed to any of that, so it’s hard for them to develop things like ambition or hobbies.  It’s strange.

Things are frustrating here sometimes too.  People aren’t that good at communicating with each other about what’s going on.  And the kids have way too much study time and not enough time to do other things so they end up not studying even during study time so they fail their classes.  And I’ve been trying to have time for some of the girls to do stuff other than study – to play games and do arts and crafts, but sometimes they just end up fighting and grabbing the craft supplies and not sharing, which makes it an exhausting half an hour for me. Wry smile. So those are some complaints I have.  I don’t know how to change things.  I feel like things do need to change but at the same time, I’m not here to change Pannai but simply to live here and be present.

Anyway, this email is getting super long.

Love and peace,

Thandiwe

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About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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